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No Homeless WV Child Left Behind?

September 12, 2007

Charleston, WV – As Congress gets ready to renew the "No Child Left Behind Act," children's advocates say a few changes to the law would give homeless kids a better chance of succeeding in school. Frances Pack is the Homeless Facilitator for Kanawha County Schools. She says children moving between shelters, relatives' and friends' houses, or living in cars, are often shuffled between school districts. She believes changes to "No Child Left Behind" provisions could help give them a more stable education.

"We want to try to keep that child in one school during that school year, so that their education is not disrupted, even though what's going on at home might be very much disrupted."

Pack says there's solid research showing the need to keep kids in the same school throughout the year.

"Any time a child makes a move from one school to another school, that might throw them behind four to six months in their education."

Pack suggests Congress can help by requiring school districts to keep homeless students enrolled in the same school, even if they're not staying in one place. They can also help by funding transportation to their schools and streamlining enrollment paperwork.

Rob Ferrett/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - WV